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Thursday, March 2, 2017

FIREPOWER (1979)

Typically crappy action-oriented product of its day aims low . . . and misses. More package deal than movie, it’s just the sort of violent nonsense for the international marketplace that earned producer Sir Lew Grade the nickname Sir Low Grade. This one has a starry-sounding cast in a revenge story, hopping thru picturesque locations to grab a secretive super-villain & production cost tax breaks. In on the chase, Sophia Loren’s widow; James Coburn’s semi-retired hitman; second-story man O. J. Simpson, along with notable marqué names in support (Eli Wallach; Vincent Gardenia; Anthony Franciosa; George Grizzard; Billy Barty) and a couple of real oddities (Victor Mature in his final feature & Jake LaMotta). It might be mindless time-wasting fun if only someone (anyone!) knew how to stage, shoot & edit an action scene, or run the logic-defeating narrative. Instead, Sir Lew hires hack megger Michael Winner, whose production company, ‘Michael Winner Limited’ succinctly describes his skill set. Limited. These films were all Pre-Sold, often behind the scenes at the Cannes Film Fest, usually on little more than a wing, a prayer & a poster. Why they stuck with talentless hacks when they’d already made their dough back is a mystery.

SCREWY THOUGHT OF THE DAY: Unavoidable in the ‘70s & ‘80s, where has the Action/Exploitation audience gone? To Horror? Zombies? Sci-Fi? Tarantino? Maybe an algorithm could get them hooked on old classic movies?

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